Church welcomes change to Ebacc plans

PA

The Church of England's Board of Education has welcomed the announcement this week that the Ebacc is to be dropped.

In a dramatic U-turn, education secretary Michael Gove announced that plans to replace GCSEs with a new English Baccalaureate would no longer be going ahead.

There was strong opposition to the EBacc from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and exams regulator Ofqual.

Christians were concerned that the EBacc did not include Religious Education.

Over a hundred MPs across all the major parties opposed the decision to omit RE from the subjects in the new EBacc, which instead included English, maths, the sciences, languages and either history or geography.

The Church of England's Chief Education Officer, the Reverend Jan Ainsworth said its concerns had always centred on the "downgrading" of Religious Education as a core subject.

"In modern society understanding and learning about faith has never been more important for both civic discourse and cultural enrichment," she said.

The All Party Parliament Group on RE is due to publish a report into the teaching of the subject in schools next month.

Rev Ainsworth continued: "Church schools have always followed the national curriculum, providing an inclusive education with a distinctive Christian ethos, with a commitment to the disadvantaged.

"We hope that Mr Gove's plans will put the good of all pupils first, not just the academically gifted."

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